It’s impossible to have full privacy when you’re connected to the internet. You leave bits of information wherever you go, and that’s just how it is.
Some snooping is even more invasive. Worried someone is spying on your phone? Check this list of red flags.
Publically available information is also easy to find online — people search sites gather your name, phone number, address and more and sell it to anyone who wants it. For this week’s Opt-Out Tuesday, we’ll show you how to remove yourself from PeopleFinder.
Avoid people search sites at all costs, especially if it costs you
Don’t ever pay for any people search service. Most of these sites are scammy in nature. You may think you’re paying for one report and find that you’ve been roped into recurring charges.
Don’t pay to remove your information from any site. This process must be provided for free, as you can see in the steps below.
Do you have older relatives who may not know about these sites? While you’re opting out yourself, why not do the same for them? Just type in their information as you would your own, and follow our steps to completion.
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Similar names, same goals
“With over a billion public records in our database, PeopleFinder will give you the freedom to search for anyone and everyone.” That statement is right there on the homepage.
We covered PeopleFinders in another edition of Opt-Out Tuesday, which you can check out here. This week we are looking at PeopleFinder.com — the same name, minus the “S” at the end.
The spelling doesn’t matter. These people search sites do the same thing. They scrape personal information from local, state and federal public records, along with court records, social media, forums and other sources. They can also purchase information from data brokers.
The sites sell this information to anyone who wants to pay. There is no price of entry beyond that payment. A jealous ex can access the information as easily as a hacker.
We regularly update our roundup of people search sites with instructions to remove them. Tap and click here to check out the list so far.
How to remove your information from PeopleFinder
PeopleFinder had an opt-out page from Intelius, which no longer works. Both sites are part of the PeopleConnect network, which includes US Search Instant Checkmate and TruthFinder, among others.
The opt-out process for all those sites is now the same. Let’s get started:
- Go to suppression.peopleconnect.us/login.
- Check your inbox for a confirmation email from email@example.com. Tap the Verify Email button in the message.
- Enter your name and email address and scroll down and hit Save when you’re done.
- Go back to the top of the page and select the Suppression Setting tab and wait for your information to show up.
- If the information matches yours, select the Visibility Setting dropdown menu and select Suppressed.
- If you can’t locate your information, select the Identity tab at the top to go back to the previous page.
- Hit the Edit Identity button and enter more information, such as another email address you use. Verifying more of your information may help to locate your matching profile on the site.
NOTE: PeopleConnect pushes the suppression tool as the best way to stop people from finding you on its sites, but there is also an option to delete. Before you do so, know that PeopleConnect states that deleting your data will also delete your suppressions.
With that in mind, here’s how delete your data:
- Go to suppression.peopleconnect.us/privacy-center and scroll down to the Right to Delete section.
- Enter your email address (if you followed the suppression steps above, your information may already be in the system and you won’t have to enter your email address again).
- Hit the Delete My User Data button. You’ll get a message saying you have to complete the process via a link in your email.
- Check your inbox for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org. Tap the link at the bottom to permanently delete your account data.
- You’ll be taken to a confirmation page. Keep an eye out for another email message confirming your deletion.
NOTE: If you’ve already gone through the PeopleConnect deletion process for Intelius or another site, you’ll get an email stating that there is no record associated with your email.
If you have any trouble completing these steps or need more information, write to email@example.com or call 888-245-1655.
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